How a government shutdown would affect arts funding

The Minnesota State Arts Board is preparing for a shutdown.

While it’s not yet sure whether the state will have to shut down on July 1 over a budget stalemate, the Arts Board – which oversees grants to artists and organizations across the state – has begun looking at what might happen in a worse case scenario. The key message is this: No Arts Board grant payments would be made during a shutdown.

Here’s what the state agency has posted on its website:

Will the Arts Board continue to operate if there is a shutdown?

Probably not.

The State is in the process of determining which critical functions might continue to operate if there is a shutdown. It is likely that only those State services concerning life, health, safety, and personal custodial activities would continue to operate during a shutdown. That determination will ultimately be made by the Courts.

Because the Arts Board does not provide those kinds of services, it is likely that the Arts Board will not continue to operate during a shutdown.

Will the regional arts councils continue to operate if there is a shutdown?

Some might, some might not.

Regional arts councils are independent nonprofit organizations. They are not required to close if a shutdown occurs. However, the State of Minnesota is their principal source of funding. Since the legislature has not approved either the State general fund appropriations, or the arts and cultural heritage fund Legacy Amendment appropriations for fiscal year 2012-13, regional arts councils may not have the resources to operate during a shutdown.

Please contact the regional arts council in your area for information about its specific plans for operating if there is a shutdown.

How might Minnesota State Arts Board applicants and grantees be affected if there is a state government shutdown?

Grant payments–Much of the State’s financial systems and supporting personnel would not be operating after June 30, if there is a shutdown.

No Arts Board grant payments would be made during a shutdown.

Contracts and contract amendments–If the Arts Board is not operating during a shutdown, it will not be able to execute contracts or contract amendments.

Review and approval of grant applications–The Arts Board would postpone any scheduled meetings, grant application review panels, any other programs or services that are scheduled to take place during a shutdown.

Fiscal year 2012 Operating Support grants are scheduled to be approved at the Arts Board’s July 12-13 meeting. If a shutdown occurs during or prior to those dates, the meeting might be postponed.

Contact with the Arts Board–The Arts Board office would likely be closed. Staff would likely not be available to return calls or e-mails while a shutdown is underway.

The Minnesota State Arts Board promises to update its website with the latest details.

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